This life advice is almost 2000 years old, and it’s really good stuff!

Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome (161-180), is arguably more famous for his intellect and wisdom than for his leadership. Born in Italy on April 26, 121, Marcus Aurelius was the successor to Emperor Hadrian.

Alec Guinness as Marcus Aurelius

Below, we’ve shared some of the most important quotes to come from Aurelius’ lifetime – and all of them are surprisingly still relevant today. 

1. Think of all the years passed by in which you said to yourself “I’ll do it tomorrow,” and how the gods have again and again granted you periods of grace of which you have not availed yourself. It is time to realize that you are a member of the Universe, that you are born of Nature itself, and to know that a limit has been set to your time. Use every moment wisely, to perceive your inner refulgence, or ’twill be gone and nevermore within your reach.

2. Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?

3. You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.

4. Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.

5. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

Circe Institute

6. Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us.

7. Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?

8. Whatever any one does or says, I must be good; just as if the emerald were always saying this: “Whatever any one does or says, I must still be emerald, and keep my color.

9. Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.

10. How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.

11. Why should we feel anger at the world? As if the world would notice?

12. Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around.

13. Imagine you were now dead, or had not lived before his moment. Now view the rest of your life as a bonus….

 Did Aurelius’ thoughtful words stand the test of time? We certainly think so!

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